Calendula tea is one of many herbal tea options that people across the world are turning to for a variety of uses and ailments. If you’ve already done some research on this particular type, then you know the basics.
For those of you who haven’t, don’t worry. Calendula isn’t anything unusual. In fact, you’ve probably heard of it by another name.
Calendula is one of about 15-20 species of Asteraceae plants that are more popularly known under the marigold name, which came about as a Christian reference to the Virgin Mary.
In the following article, you’ll be learning about what a calendula actually contains, how to make tea (and ice cubes) from it, what else you can use it with, and the 26 primary benefits.
We’ll also be discussing the rare cases where you’ll want to stay away from it due to advanced risk factors. Let’s begin.
What Is Calendula?
We’ve discussed what calendula is from the broad view. Now let’s look at what is actually in it. Bear with us. We’re about to throw some needlessly long words at you without misspelling them. They are as follows.
- Flavonol glycosides: quercetin is perhaps the most well-known of this particular class of flavonoid. There are implications for its effectiveness in cancer treatments, but more evidence is needed to sufficiently support claims.
- Triterpene oligoglycosides: a large class of organic compounds associated with a variety of medicinal uses that we’ll be getting into in the benefits section below.
- Oleanane-type triterpene glycosides: same as above.
- Saponins: chemical compounds commonly found in animal and human nutrition products.
- Sesquiterpene glucoside: a plant-based sugar.
Don’t worry if you’re unable to pronounce any of this stuff (or even say it once straight-through without taking a break). The sections ahead will make it clearer just what types of benefits you can hope to derive from it’s use.
But first, let’s talk about how to make the perfect cup of calendula tea.
How to Make Calendula Tea
Thankfully, this section is going to be much easier than the last one. You simply bring your water to a boil. You can do it by stovetop or by nuking it in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.
For best results, line your cup with the calendula leaves and pour the hot water over it. Then, allow it to steep for a minimum of 15 minutes. Yeah, we know it’s a long wait. But that’s why you’ve got a timer and Wooden Block on your phone.
Once the timer goes off, it should be perfectly steeped and cooled off enough to drink without incinerating your tongue.
Combined Uses for Calendula Tea
Because calendula is mostly safe for human consumption, you can feel free to combine it with other herbs like chamomile. Also, you may wish to consider mixing it with honey, coconut oil, or olive oil.
Obviously, it’s edible, but you’ll probably want to limit yourself to between one and three cups per day depending on factors like age, weight, and any possible health conditions or medications that might interact with it in a negative way.
Talk to your doctor first before using it, whether you have concerns or not. Many people have natural allergens. There is no reason to think calendula is immune from those exceptions.
Now that we’ve covered those basics, we’re ready to discuss the conditions, uses, and ailments that people like you are using it for every day.
The 26 Benefits of Calendula Tea
Some of the benefits we are about to cover have more documented evidence to support them than others. That doesn’t negate the fact that many people are using calendula tea and reporting great results.
When considering whether it’s right for you, listen to each of the following: your gut, people you trust, and, most importantly, your doctor. The medical community has found little evidence that calendula tea produces detrimental effects.
There are cases where you will want to avoid it. We’ll get into that at the end. For most people, it won’t hurt to try calendula tea for yourself, especially if you suffer from one or more of the following.
Urinary tract infections can be painful and discomforting. They are characterized by pains in regions that are part of the urinary tract or connected to it. If you experience discomfort in the bladder, pelvis, groin, or lower abdomen, then you may be dealing with one.
UTIs also come with frequent urination, foul odor in the urine, cloudy/dark urine, and cramping or vaginal irritation, according to the Mayo Clinic. They often go away on their own without the need for a prescription.
To help speed the process along, you might consider drinking a hot or cold calendula tea. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been known to expedite healing.
2. Sore Throats
Sore throat sufferers can take their pick over a myriad of herbal tea remedies that coat the throat and bring temporary relief. Calendula tea is at least as effective as the best of these.
- Licorice root
- Green tea
- Turmeric tea
- Chamomile tea
However, it’s important to note that a prolonged sore throat can be symptomatic of something more serious. If the experience is sustained or it comes and goes with frequency, be sure that you check with your doctor.
3. Dental Care
Okay, so dental care does not exactly qualify as “suffering,” though it can be — more on that in a moment — but calendula tea can be a soothing choice if you’ve just come from a dental procedure or cleaning, and you’d like to restore a non-fluoride taste to your mouth.
The anti-inflammation support is also beneficial if the procedure has left your mouth feeling swollen and sore. Give it a try. We recommend buffering the treatment and the tea with a glass of water.
4. Canker Sores, Mouth Ulcers, and Thrush
Canker sores and mouth ulcers may not look like much, but tell that to the person suffering from them! Multiple causes may be attributed to these, such as “injury to the mouth, acidic or spicy foods, vitamin deficiencies, hormones, stress, or autoimmune disorders,” according to MedicineNet.
Calendula tea offers support for both swelling and wound healing, making it a natural for anyone dealing with these particular bits of unpleasantness. As for thrush — a fungal infection that attacks the skin or mucous membranes — calendula has anti-fungal properties that are effective in combatting symptoms.
5. Improved Digestion
Given the presence of bacteria in the human digestive tract, it’s easy to see how millions each year suffer from some form of problem with their digestion. While not all the bacteria are bad, there is a never-ending fight that we have to do through our diet to ensure a proper balance.
Calendula tea offers anti-microbial support to help maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. It also can address stomach ulcers and other digestive impairments.
While persistent problems certainly require the attention of a doctor, drinking calendula tea is a small step that you can take to push back against the symptoms.
6. Hemorrhoid Care
When you hear “tea,” you probably think “beverage.” But calendula and other herbal teas can be used in other beneficial ways that don’t require turning up a “No. 1 Dad or Mom” mug. Hemorrhoid care is a textbook example.
Prepare a “sitz bath” for yourself using water and a batch of calendula tea. Then, soak for about 15 minutes. Repeat daily, if needed, until the swelling and irritation subsides.
Of course, calendula tea cannot get rid of hemorrhoids altogether. For that, you will probably need a surgical solution. But you can live comfortably without surgery provided you’re taking the proper dietary and treatment steps when issues do arise.
7. Yeast Infection Treatment
Yeast infections are caused by the same pesky culprit behind oral thrush and other fungal infections — candida. It usually takes 3-7 days of treatment to get through a yeast infection.
In the meantime, symptoms can make life unpleasant with manifestations such as discharge, itching, and inflammation.
Drinking calendula tea can help soothe some of these issues, but, as with hemorrhoids, it’s most effective in the sitz-bath technique, which allows for a more direct delivery to the problem area.
8. Swelling Reducer
Again, calendula tea is an anti-inflammatory, so if you’re experiencing any type of swelling, consider soaking a cloth and applying it directly to the affected region.
9. Acne and Other Skin Irritations
While there are a number of traumas, rashes, and irritations you can use it for, acne is probably the most common issue.
Calendula tea has a dual effect when it comes to acne. (Great news for those of you gearing up for your first prom later this year.) On the one hand, it is anti-fungal and anti-microbial.
It can ease swollen pores while cleansing the trouble-points. Secondly, it can help reduce the appearance of acne scars.
10. Diaper Rash and Conditions Common to Childhood
Children’s skin is particularly sensitive and subject to a variety of common conditions that do not affect adults as greatly (i.e., diaper rash and eczema).
The anti-swelling component of calendula tea makes it a great topical for fussy babies in need of relief from some of these common skin conditions.
11. Menstruation Regularity
Women who struggle with irregular periods may want to consider incorporating this tea into their daily routine as it has a tendency to facilitate and support menstruation.
There are some concerns for this with pregnant women we’ll get into later. But if your goal is a more regular period, it has been a pretty effective tool for many women.
12. As an Eye Rinse
Eye irritation is generally due to swelling that may be brought on by a reaction to some known or unknown allergy. It also may be due to an obstruction in the eye.
While calendula tea won’t necessarily be able to solve the latter problem, it can certainly help to bring down swelling and allow the eyes to return to their normal state of tear production and comfort.
Normally-functioning eyes are largely self-policing when it comes to removing obstructions. So, in a roundabout way, calendula tea can help there as well.
13. Athlete’s Foot and Other Fungal Infections
To paraphrase Seinfeld‘s Pat Buckles, you don’t have to be an athlete to get Athlete’s Foot. It is more commonly associated with athletes and highly-active people, though, because fungi grow more rapidly in moist and closed-in environments.
A highly-active person’s sweat glands are more productive. Since the feet are loaded with them, then great periods of activity plus sock-absorption plus wearing things multiple times before you wash them can create a veritable Petrie dish for fungi to grow and infect the foot.
This leads to infection and chronic itching. Creating a foot bath consisting of water and calendula tea can kill off many of the fungi that cause Athlete’s Foot and other infections to hang around and make your life miserable. It also provides temporary relief to symptoms.
14. Itchy Scalp or Dandruff
A calendula tea rinse can be effective when dealing with sore, itchy, or inflamed scalps. It also restores the skin to its ordinary pH balance, thus reducing the effects of dandruff and excessively dry skin.
15. Fever Reduction
Slight body temperature elevations can see some benefit from a cup of calendula tea. However, fever is something that may require the immediate attention of a doctor, especially if it has stayed at an elevated level for an extended period of time.
While 98.6 degrees is the average “normal” temperature, it can vary depending on your body’s natural state. Listen to what your fever is trying to tell you, and use this tea and other herbal supplements as a means of handling the symptoms, not as a cure-all.
Consult emergency care if you’re at 100 or higher and can’t seem to shake it, as this is usually indicative of a bigger problem.
16. Wound Care for Cuts, Scratches, and Bites
The same calendula tea properties that take care of inflammation and swelling can take the irritation out of mosquito and bug bites while also helping repair skin damage from cuts, scratches, and abrasions.
This particular function is best carried out as a poultice applied directly to the marking. Of course, for deeper, more serious cuts, get to an emergency room or urgent care clinic.
But as your immune system begins to kick in, this can be a nice help for speeding up the healing process.
17. Hot Spot Care
This use is more for pets. Hot spots, WebMD notes, is a condition in which “red, moist, hot and irritated lesions” form on a dog or cat’s chest, head, or hip areas.
They “often grow at an alarming rate within a short period of time because dogs (and to a lesser degree, cats) tend to lick, chew, and scratch the affected areas, further irritating the skin.”
Because many tea drinkers are also pet lovers, we felt the need to mention that. But similarly, humans who experience skin lesions and overly sensitive skin or irritation from outside objects (i.e., soaps, chemicals, etc.) — areas that can be compared to hot spots — should consider a direct application as well.
18. Diabetic Ulcers
Diabetic ulcers typically occur on the bottom of the foot or the toes. They are the result of poor circulation and nerve damage. Sometimes ulcers can become so severe they require hospitalization.
Calendula tea may be able to help with some of the tenderness and swelling.
19. Peeling Lips
Also known as cheilitis, this occurs from dry skin and recurring damage that results from it. In other words, you peel a little. It’s irritating. You peel a little. It gets more irritated. You peel a little bit more. The cycle continues.
Vaseline is the usual go-to, but you could be able to accelerate the relief by mixing with calendula tea and applying to the affected area.
20. As an Insect Repellant
Results on this one vary. You may want to stick with citronella for natural solutions to peskier insects like mosquitoes. But many have reported encouraging results from using calendula tea as a deterrent when camping, hunting, or generally enjoying the outdoors, particularly with ant colonies and other small crawlers.
21. Pains from Ear Infections
Calendula tea is worth considering if you have a little one at home who suffers from an occasional ear infection. For chronic infections, however, you will want to consult with a doctor. This is usually indicative that tubes are necessary.
22. Radiation Dermatitis
Cancer patients can experience dermatitis brought on by radiation treatments. While there is no evidence calendula can do anything to combat cancer, it may provide relief to this particular treatment outcome.
23. Vaginal Atrophy
As a woman’s estrogen levels decline, she can experience thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal walls. It’s quite common, actually, but likely under-reported.
Calendula tea’s anti-inflammatory qualities can ease at least some of the burden, though it may not be enough to address every symptom.
24. Muscle Spasms
Another good topical use for calendula tea, apply to any area given to spasms. Skeletal muscles are the types most prone to spasms. Also, consider addressing the main causes of these — namely, fatigue, dehydration, and dips in your electrolyte levels.
Topical use. Can “dry up” nosebleeds and help the healing process in the same way that it’s used for wound care.
26. Varicose Veins
Also topical. This “purple vein” condition is another outcome of inflammation, and since calendula tea is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can be quite effective with a direct application.
Who Should Not Use Calendula Tea?
As much as you may be convinced by the effectiveness of calendula tea, there are some situations where you will wish to avoid or, at the very least, proceed with a doctor’s advice and a great deal of caution.
Here are some of the highest risk groups, along with a little bit about why calendula can be the wrong move.
Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant will want to put their calendula tea use on the backburner. While it’s great if you’re hoping to regulate your periods, it also can cause premature delivery or miscarriage through its tendency to promote uterine contractions.
Alternative tea choices that are by-and-large safe for pregnant women include rooibos, ginger, nettle, raspberry leaf, dandelion leaf, and peppermint. Do check with your gynecologist before moving forward, though.
People Allergic to Ragweed and Related Plants
Different blooming seasons bring with them unique challenges to your allergies. Ragweed is one of the greatest offenders for making you sneeze your head off, but it’s possible that calendula can be in the mix as well. You’ll want to proceed with caution and cease use if you’re noticing flare-ups.
Surgery Patients, Two Weeks Before an Operation
The major concern here: calendula can cause drowsiness. When that mixes with other medications that are applied during the surgical process, it can create problems coming out of the anesthetic, which, in rare cases, might prove fatal.
You don’t want to take chances, and it’s best to make sure all of the tea is out of your system before the operation. So pull the plug on using two weeks or more before a known procedure.
Users of Sedative Medications
Again, the drowsy-inducing calendula tea can significantly increase the effects of sedative medication. Examples of these include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, zolpidem, and eszopiclone.
How Will You Use Calendula Tea?
Calendula tea is not without concerns for select groups, but it is a largely safe herbal that you can put to use in several ways for the betterment of your skin and immune system.
It also can guard against outside contaminants and improve the overall quality of your life. While we’ve attempted to give you a comprehensive overview of how and why you should use it, we’re always eager to hear your thoughts as well.
What do you use calendula tea for? Share your experiences in the comments section.